Netflix adds tighter parental control tools

Netflix Inc. is strengthening parental controls, offering more tools to limit what kids can watch on the world’s most popular paid streaming service.

Parents can now filter out titles they deem inappropriate and protect individual profiles with a PIN so kids can’t use them, the company said Tuesday. These changes take effect for customers in all 190 countries where the streaming service is available.

Netflix has invested billions of dollars in original kids programing, including the Oscar-nominated film “Klaus” and TV series “Boss Baby.” The new tools are designed to reassure parents that Netflix is the best streaming option for children as it faces growing competition, in particular from Disney+, which features only kid-friendly programs.

Netflix has been refining its parental controls for years, but the new capabilities could be well-timed — with millions of locked-down customers using the service as a babysitter for their children.

The company already allowed parents to create a kids profile that would show only programming suitable for children, but the new tools provide more flexibility in how they manage viewing habits. They can put age limitations on individual profiles, identifying a certain profile as for kids 7 and below or 13 and below.

The changes were born out of conversations with customers who asked for the ability to customize how and where kids could access programs. Those responses varied by region.

“This represents a pretty significant change to parental-control offerings,” said Michelle Parsons, a Netflix product manager who oversees features for kids.

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Netflix adds tighter parental control tools